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In Warwick, contractor takes on incumbent Solomon for mayoral seat – News – providencejournal.com

Frank Picozzi, known by more people for his holiday light display than his politics, takes on Mayor Joseph J. Solomon

WARWICK — The origins of this season’s political contest between incumbent Mayor Joseph J. Solomon and challenger Frank Picozzi trace back to the outset of the coronavirus pandemic.

At the time, holiday-style light displays came into vogue; Picozzi, a vinyl-siding contractor, was known throughout Warwick and beyond for his holiday light display.

Of course, people encouraged him to once again deck the halls at his house.

Instead, the former School Committee chairman decorated his truck and took his high-tech light show along city streets.

The tour lasted 34 days. Picozzi says some Warwick residents encouraged him to run for mayor. It was a bit of a joke at first, he acknowledges, but not anymore.

That’s how Solomon, a career politician, also the first Democrat in the mayor’s office in decades, came to face the lighting expert in his bid to win reelection on the heels of his first term (not including his stint as the city’s chief executive following the resignation of Mayor Scott Avedisian).

Solomon says he hopes to continue with a style of leadership that he believes has served the city, attracting new businesses (he cites Tesla and Market Basket) and enough newcomers to cause a housing shortage.

Solomon says he has the management and accounting skills to control costs and avoid tax increases, and that he supports necessary spending on roads and infrastructure, as well as $6 million in additional appropriations to the city’s school system.

Solomon has also touted the city’s standing with rating agencies during his term. Some critics, including Picozzi, say he exaggerated the extent of a cash-flow problem when he first took office

Picozzi, 61, of 75 Gristmill Rd., served on the School

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Bohnett Park to Close for Renovation, Storm Water Treatment Project | Local News

October 12, 2020
| 12:10 p.m.

Bohnett Park in Santa Barbara is scheduled to close beginning Thursday, Oct. 15 for construction of a park improvement and storm water treatment project.

The park improvement project, developed with extensive community input, includes the installation of new turf and landscaping, irrigation, picnic tables along Old Mission Creek, barbecue grills, trash and coal receptacles, accessible park entrance and walkways, and new streetscape fencing.

“Bohnett Park is a key recreational area for the Westside,” said Parks and Recreation director Jill Zachary. “We are pleased to be moving forward with a project that will make the park more usable for all.”

The storm water improvement portion of the project includes the installation of underground gravel filled chambers that will capture, treat and infiltrate storm water runoff from the neighborhood surrounding Bohnett Park.

Retaining the storm water on site and allowing it to slowly infiltrate into the ground will help improve water quality in Old Mission Creek.

Civic Construction Associates be doing the construction work, which is expected to take about three months. Work will take place 7 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. The upper park area along San Andres Street will remain open during construction.

The project is funded by a Community Development Block Grant, the city of Santa Barbara General Fund, and by hotel visitors through Measure B.
 
For more information on park improvements, contact Keven Strasburg, 805-897-1906 or [email protected] For more on the storm water project, contact George Johnson, 805) 897-1958 or [email protected]
 

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City Hall Notebook: Timeline for DCU Center improvements up in the air – News – telegram.com

When the city hit the pause button back in the early spring on the planned Phase 2 master plan improvements for the DCU Center because of funding uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, it was hoped it could be restarted in January.

Of course, no one back then foresaw that the city-owned DCU Center would remain closed seven months later. It is now expected to remain dark at least through the end of this year.

As a result, the possibility of a January restart for the project seems very much up in the air.

John Odell, the city’s director of energy and assets, told the Civic Center Commission last week that the restart will be determined when the revenue stream for it can support the work.

And with uncertainty about just when the DCU Center will be able to host events again, that makes the timeline for the project quite uncertain itself.

The Civic Center Commission has approved improvements for the DCU Center totaling $21.5 million. They are broken down into five priority areas: life safety and code compliance, deferred maintenance, public accommodations, revenue enhancements, and other enhancements/upgrades.

To finance building improvements, the city created a special DCU Finance District in 2006 that consisted of four parcels: the Hilton Garden Inn, the Residence by Marriott on Plantation Street, the DCU Center arena and convention center, and the Major Taylor Boulevard parking garage, including its retail space and operations.

In 2016 the district was expanded to include additional parcels.

Certain tax revenues generated in that district and collected by the state — hotel, meals and sales taxes — are redirected back to the city to finance the bonds for improvements in and around the DCU Center.

But when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closing of the DCU Center in mid-March and

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Canning Boulevard improvement project heading toward the home stretch – News – The Herald News, Fall River, MA

FALL RIVER – Hang tight, all you drivers heading north on William S. Canning Boulevard en route to SouthCoast Marketplace.

It won’t be long before your final approach to the popular shopping center in the city’s far South End becomes easier and safer.

Preliminary work is now underway to construct a slip ramp, also known in the parlance of road construction as either a slip lane or slip road.

“It will alleviate congestion and improve access to SouthCoast Marketplace,” said Paul Ferland, who oversees Fall River’s sewer and water divisions in his role as the city’s community utilities administrator.

Ferland says the new ramp, or lane, will sit parallel to the shopping center’s main entrance-and-exit road and will run adjacent to the Santander Bank branch.

The new road will be functional before the arrival of Thanksgiving on Nov. 26, he said.

Ferland said northbound and southbound drivers exiting nearby Route 24 will appreciate the road addition, as will people driving in from Tiverton and down the Canning Boulevard/Route 81 hill from the Stafford Road rotary.

The new entrance road will eliminate the need for northbound traffic to swerve into the right-hand lane to enter the shopping center — which in turn should create a more orderly and safer two-lane path for drivers heading past SouthCoast Marketplace.

“I know a lot of people will be happy when this is done,” said John Perry, director of the city’s Department of Community Maintenance.

Ferland said the state’s Department of Transportation has approved plans and designs for two new, large traffic signal lights to be installed at the intersection in front of SouthCoast Marketplace.

He says synchronization of the lights will be fine-tuned to create a more orderly flow of traffic from various turn lanes.

Another road improvement soon to be undertaken will be

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